Most likely you have a negative Nancy or a Debbie downer in your life. I know I have a couple. But did you know that having a pessimistic personality can actually mean you have poorer health?
Studies have shown that people with a positive outlook on life have better overall health. In fact, ‘optimism increases longevity; increases your spiritual development; promotes positive relationships; and even decreases anxiety’ (McCarthy, 2013).
According to Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts (2012), ‘optimists believe that good things are very likely to happen. [T]hese people have positive outcome expectancies that significantly influence both their thinking and their approach to the world. The belief that a desirable goal in life is attainable has incentive value for the individual; that is, it stimulates or energizes both one’s goal-directed thinking and one’s goal-directed action. Positive expectancies also cause people to be more persistent when pursuing their goals.’
So, basically, the more optimistic you are, the more likely you are to get the things you want out of life. This can help people experience happiness in romantic endeavors, personal relationships, friendships, and even their careers. Optimism ‘allows you to approach a crisis with strength and resolve’ and ‘sets a positive tone for your day’ (McCarthy, 2013).
With all the benefits of being positive, it seems down right negative to be pessimistic!
And just in case you were wondering what kind of person you are … take this quiz to find out if you are an optimist or not!
Are You Optimistic or Pessimistic? (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.seemypersonality.com/personality.asp?p=Optimism-Test
McCarthy, J. (2013). Optimism and Happiness. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved from http://splash.suntimes.com/2013/07/11/optimism-and-happiness
Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.